A country which is preparing itself for a possible naval blockade and military attacks is not going to reveal inner conflicts or power struggles. On Saturday, at a meeting with cabinet ministers, Iran’s Velāyat-e faqih Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei exhorted his President to be prepared for a second term. According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution praised the president for standing up to the West and predicted he would retain the office for four more years at the 2009 election. “Do not think that this year is your final year. Work as if you will stay in charge for five years” he said.
Different messages may be perceived here. Although seemingly backing Ahmadinejad in public, Khamenei might demand, at the same time, more realistic and future-oriented politics of his President. After upcoming US American elections, the pack will be reshuffled anyway. Continuity plans have to be worked out. Maybe even Khamenei is a bit irritated of the continuous apocalyptic sentiment of Ahmadinejad’s speeches. There will also be new developments in the reformers’ camp, of course, before Iran’s 2009 election campaign, which will not start before Nowruz in March.
So, let’s wait for the November 4 results first.